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Friday, January 3, 2014

Ella Quinn on Regency Communication (Guest post & Giveaway)

I have the pleasure of welcoming author Ella Quinn back on my blog, who has previously talked about Regency fashion for the release of The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh (link Click Here). Today Ella has come to talk about the intricacies of Regency communications. This sounds very interesting! 

**Ella is giving away a digital copy of The Temptation of Lady Serena to one lucky commenter**

I’m so glad to be invited back. The last time I was here I discussed Regency fashions. But today I’ve been thinking a lot about how we communicate. Even with all our electronic devices, and tendency to be blunt, we sometimes have trouble being understood. Everyone probably has that person or persons who take everything we say the wrong way.

Some languages lend themselves to miscommunication as do some cultures. During the Regency people were brought up to be contained. An outward show of strong emotion was considered vulgar. As was head tossing, rolling one’s eyes, and any number of actions we take for granted these days, It was even considered forward for a gentleman to compliment a lady on her appearance. Not to mention, a young lady (not married) was not allowed to be alone with a gentleman until they were engaged. Nor could she receive a letter from a young man without her parents’ permission.

So if a gentleman wished to tell a lady what he thought of her, how would it be done? If he had been introduced to the lady, he could send her flowers. Back then pretty blooms could convey a message. Here are just some of the meanings:

Apple Blossom – preference
Azalea – temperance
Columbine – folly
Daisy – innocence
Daffodil – regard
Holly – foresight
Iris – message
Ivy – fidelity
Lavender – distrust
Lily – purity
Marigold – sorrow
Morning Glory – affection
Myrtle - love and marriage
Pansy – thoughtfulness
Primrose – consistency
Roses had a whole range of meanings depending on their color and how many were sent.

Woe to the young man who sent a bouquet to the young lady without taking their meaning into consideration.
Writing poetry to a lady was also in vogue. He may not be able to tell her lips were like a red rose, but he could write it.

Ladies in the Georgian era had a form of texting, by using their fans. Unfortunately that appears to have fallen out of use by the Regency era, though they came back into fashion during the Victorian era. Here are some examples which are pretty specific, unless you’ve forgotten the meaning.

Carrying Open fan: come speak with me
Twirling the fan in the right hand: I love another
Twirling the fan in the left hand: We are being watched
Placing the fan near your heart: I love you
A half-closed fan pressed to the lips: You may kiss me
Letting the fan rest on the right cheek: Yes
Letting the fan rest on the left cheek: No
Placing fan on left ear: I wish to be rid of you
Carrying fan in right hand in front of face: Follow me
Drawing fan through the hand: I hate you
Threaten with shut fan: You are imprudent
Gazing at shut fan: Why do you misunderstand me?

What is your favorite form of communication?
About the book:
Ella Quinn's bachelors in The Marriage Game series are charming and cunning when it comes to the ways of love--until the right woman captures their unsuspecting hearts. . .

Custom-made gowns. . .nights at the theater. . .and a host of eligible bachelors. Accustomed to living a quiet life in the Scottish Borderlands, Lady Serena Weir has never had any of these luxuries. But when Serena's brother demands she finally have a Season in London, she's thrust into a glamorous world she's only dreamed of. . .

Robert, Viscount Beaumont, remembers all too well what it feels like to be in love. That is why he must keep his distance from Serena. He's only felt his pulse stir the way it does now when he made the mistake of loving the wrong woman once before. Yet the more he strives to resist his feelings, the nearer he is to falling under Serena's seductive spell. . .
Buy Links: Amazon |Barnes & NobleKobo 
Goodreads Link: Click Here

**Ella is giving away a digital copy of The Temptation of Lady Serena to one lucky commenter** So comment away, my friends! I've learned quite a lot of interesting information today. ^_^


  1. LOL I love reading about these communication skills of the romantic past. So inventive! I laugh because the parents know nothing about it just like now days with technology~ Ha!

    And Hi Ella! Welcome back. :D

  2. Hi Ella, I really loved The Secret Life of Miss Anne Marsh and look forward to reading your latest.

  3. I love this! It makes me want to re-read some of my favorites and discover what hidden secrets lie within!

  4. I am amazed that something like the type of flower a gentleman sent had a meaning. I do like the way messages used to be sent compared to the way it is done today.

    1. Much more romantic, Jo-Anne. As long as you didn't muck things up by sending the wrong flowers.

  5. Flowers and fans are both more romantic than texting or even phone calls. :-) Of course, a drawback to the fan method is that miss-communication part where some things you are looking at him -- so you have 2 men thinking you love them - or hate them. :-D

    "Everyone probably has that person or persons who take everything we say the wrong way." LOL the stories I could tell you....

  6. LOL, Glenda. That's a plot idea!! Thank you for visiting!

    1. I'm sure you could do that plot justice!

  7. Fascinating. I'm such a clutz I'd need a code for dropped fan for the 10th time!

  8. Writing is my fav form of communication. When I open my mouth my foot tends to jump in it, so speaking is dangerous to my social life. I need to have one of my characters send a cactus to another character. But you don't have that one listed. But I'll classify it as prickly on the outside, sweet on the inside. I have to go tweet about this now.

  9. I'm always astounded by your knowledge of the Regency period, Ella! Congratulations on your recent release! Another fantastic read!

  10. I love the language of flowers. The fans would have tripped me up. :)
    Great post. Tweeted.

    1. This always looks hard for us, but I wonder how difficult it would have been if we'd been raised to it.

  11. What a great way to communicate! I knew about the hidden languages, but I can never remember what they all mean. congratulations on your latest release!!

    No need to add me to the contest. I have my copy already. :)

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Stacey!! Thanks so much for your suppot!

  12. Love the information about the language of flowers!

  13. Love the information about the language of flowers!

  14. What an interesting post. I can't imagine not being able to speak my mind. I'd be in big trouble. :)

    I like the old fashioned cards and letters. There is something about the written word. <3

  15. LOL. You're not the only one, Melissa! Thanks for coming by.

  16. Wow :) That's a lot of data to remember however as a child and later as a teenager, my friends and I would come up with similar ways to communicate without making it obvious to others in the room. We had a lot of fun with it.
    This post was enlightening. Thanks for sharing :D

  17. Lots to take in. Remember trying to come up with codes between some of my cousins and I. On my tbr wishlist.

    panthers.ravens@yahoo dot com

  18. I just love that. I was reading about flowers and their meanings not too long ago. Enjoyed it :)

  19. Thanks for the info on the language of flowers and fans. I've seen it used in some stories I've read, but I've never seen this much information on it.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu



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